Beneath the Sign of the Bear

by wjw on July 24, 2016

IMG_3563Here’s a souvenir of what I’ve been doing the last two weeks: teaching at Taos Toolbox, the master class for science fiction and fantasy, held this year in the isolated mountain fastness of Angel Fire, New Mexico.  I taught plotting and contract language, among other things, and Nancy Kress did her usual brilliant thing, not only line-editing each submission (which is really above and beyond any call of duty), but teaching the fine details of how to bring emotion into every scene, managing infodumps, constructing scenes, putting conflict into every scene, and more solid information that every new writer needs.

James S.A. Corey (both of them) contributed a long evening on managing career paths and the lure of the media, and Emily Mah Tippetts gave a long, illuminating talk on independent publishing— which she does every year, but evolution is rapid in the indiepub scene, and every year indiepub changes, and it’s useful to have all the latest.

The fourteen students were dedicated and hard-working, and their skills grew by leaps and bounds, so congratulations to all of them.

Our totem animal, portrayed in the photo on the wall behind us, was spotted in the flesh.  Admittedly by only one person, with binoculars, a small one, and up a tree, but it counts!

As you look at the photo, I can hear you saying, “Walter, you need to correct for red-eye.”  No, that’s not the problem.

After two weeks of the master class, our eyes were glowing like those of zombies!  That’s how much our souls were on fire!

You can take my word for it.

John Appel July 24, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Based on how Toolbox graduates are doing, it seems likely there’s a future award nominee or two in this bunch!

I had hoped to apply this year, but my bariatric surgery took precedence. Did get in to Viable Paradise, though.

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